NIE staff ‘threatened’ in Derry

Threats have been made to Northern Ireland Electricity (NIE) staff in Derry, it’s emerged.

The company says it has temporarily withdrawn meter readers from the Creggan area of the city because of concerns over security after the workers were warned not to enter the estate.

It’s understood customers found out about the decision earlier in the summer.

NIE provides a meter reading service on behalf of all electricity supply companies in Northern Ireland and it’s advising customers who’re affected to use its internet or telephone services.

Sinn Féin has called on those behind the threats to withdraw them immediately.

The party said that, with meter readers withdrawn, NIE was sending out estimated electricity bills to customers - a move which Sinn Fein believes could lead to financial difficulties for some householders.

Councillor Kevin Campbell said that “the people behind this need to come forward and tell the community what exactly this is about, tell the community why this threat was issued and on whose behalf.”

Mr Campbell said he was aware of reports of similar incidents in other parts of Derry, including the Bogside and Brandywell.

“When they [NIE workers] were asked why they were going around in pairs, they said they felt under threat.”

The PSNI said that it does not comment on threats, but it is believed that the police advised NIE about the matter in July.